September 19, 2010

Musings on Books and TV

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 4:47 pm

Usually I blog on sports but I watch too much TV and read many  novels, so here are some random thoughts.


  • Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom exceeds the hype. Every sentence is dead solid perfect. The book perfectly captures contemporary America and the ups and downs of marriage,
  • My swimming buddy Cathy lent me the teen novel Hunger Games. Great escapist  fare. Katniss is a great role model for teenagers.
  • One Day is a great novel that may change your life. Everyone age 15-40 should be required to read it. The book really shows you  how by living for todayand  ignoring tomorrow, you can really screw up big time!


There are 4  keys to successful drama:

  1. We need to care about the main players.
  2. The characters need situations where they face difficult decisions where there is often no right decision.
  3. People try and keep secrets, and they come back to haunt everybody!
  4. Characters should not be perfect, but have strengths and weaknesses like real people.

Now a brief review of my favorite shows

  • Even if you hate football watch Friday Night Lights. FNL deals with real people with real problems and football is a really small part of the show. Eric and Tami’s marriage is the most realistic in history. Riggins’ is TV’s sexiest male, and both men and women adore him.
  • I hate to admit it, but I still love Weeds. The critics panned this season, but I really enjoy seeing my favorites put in new difficult situations. Mary Louis Parker is one of the world’s greatest actresses(I hope you saw here Tony winning performance in Proof!)
  • Nurse Jackie is fantastic. Edie Falco’s Emmy was well-deserved but this show is more a drama than a comedy. Nurse Jackie is a drug addicted, adulterous Saint. You really need to watch to understand what I mean.
  • Unites States of Tara is also great. I love the portrayal of the kids who are more like real kids than the kids on most shows. John Corbett is a wonderful husband and Tony Collette is amazing in her portrayal of Tara’s multiple personalities.
  • It is no accident that Mad Men has won three straight Emmys. The acting is first rate. Every character is flawed but we still care deeply about them (although I hate Betty!) The episode of September 5 with Peggy and Don was beyond amazing. If you want to start watching you really need to start from the beginning to understand what’s going on. The  show perfectly captures New York in the 1960′s. The recent evolution of Don Draper into a decent person is a joy to watch.
  • We have started watching Brothers and Sisters on DVD and are halfway through season 3. This show is a joy to watch. You are totally convinced you are watching a real family. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and we laugh at least 10 times an episode. If you want a new drinking game, take a sip of wine  (it’s good for you, see this week’s Time Magazine!) whenever someone says “Mom!”
  • Gossip Girl is a guilty pleasure. Blair is a bad person but I love watching her. Chuck is a tortured soul and I love his struggling with his good side and inner demons. Unlike other shows I can never guess what is coming next. The plotting is brilliant.
  • That’s all for now XOXO!



  1. Have you watched Buffy The Vampire Slayer? It hits all of your criteria, as does its spin-off Angel.

    Cheers -Aaron

    Comment by Aaron — September 20, 2010 @ 8:24 am

  2. I loved Buffy. Did not have much time for Angel when it was on

    Comment by wwinston — September 20, 2010 @ 9:25 am

  3. I also thoroughly enjoyed Freedom, but not quite as much as The Corrections.

    Other excellent TV for you to watch: The Wire, The Shield, Breaking Bad, Veronica Mars, Community, Terriers, Fringe, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

    Comment by Sid — October 18, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

  4. love VM, and Wire.

    Comment by wwinston — October 18, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

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